Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jeria, Jorge

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Adult education; Environmental education


This autoethnographic study explores how participants in the environmental social movement in Cidra, Puerto Rico, learned and produced knowledge. The data was obtained through the narration of my personal experiences as an environmental activist and founding member of Comité Despertar Cidreño, eleven individual interviews with members and sympathizers of the group, and a collective interview in the form of a focus group. The autoethnographic narrative and interviews with the research participants illustrate a production of knowledge ranging from the skills and abilities necessary to organize the struggles to the experience and knowledge about the natural environment. The study suggests that the use of participatory action research (PAR) as a tool for research and transformation, as part of Freire's popular education conceptual framework, encouraged participants to become aware that their experiences and practices produce knowledge. The study reiterates what research on learning in social movements has demonstrated: that most of the learning is informal learning Furthermore, the individual interviews and focus group helped participants become aware of the vast amount of learning that took place during the environmental struggles. This learning, generally incidental, was not recognized before as learning by them.


Advisors: Jorge Jeria.||Committee members: LaVerne Gyant; Laura R. Johnson.||Includes illustrations and maps.||Includes bibliographical references.


169 pages




Northern Illinois University

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